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How does your product team usually work with your product marketing team with building the roadmap?

10 Answers
Krishna Panicker
Krishna Panicker
Airbase VP ProductMarch 8

Let's align on terminology first.
https://medium.com/productfolio/release-plan-vs-launch-plan-774526d2817b

The PMs lead on the Product Roadmap, but the PMMs lead on the GTM / Launch Plan. We package up our features that we want to launch into 3 -4 sizes (small , medium , large launch). Each launch classification will have it's playbook. The PMMs / PMs meet weekly to classify anything ongoing or new into these launch classifications.

If necessary the relevant PM and PMM will align on the details for how they GTM for a particular feature OR feature bundle so that we can more easily highlight the benefits to the intended target customer.

517 Views
Jacqueline Porter
Jacqueline Porter
GitLab Director of Product ManagementApril 13

Wow, what a great question! I like to think that product marketing offers a different lens to the market landscape, competitive positioning, and product launches. As a result, I typically rely on four main activities: 

1. Include product marketing in the annual product theme and road-mapping processes 

2. Have a set sync with the product marketing to review shared performance indicators such as the top of funnel leads, website performance, and release post/notes engagement 

3. Assign tasks and responsibilities to Product Marketers in the Release Post/Notes process where they can contribute to the positioning of value before the content is released to the public

4. Have a defined set of launch processes for different categories of release features. These can be organized by impact, by pricing changes, or by a predefined cadence around a major industry event. Either way, coordinate with product marketing around the content, marketing campaigns, and sales enablement that will be required to support the product post launch. 

380 Views
Aleks Bass
Aleks Bass
Typeform Vice President Product ManagementJune 15

Our Product Marketing team is a key cross-functional partner and therefore provides us with suggestions, feedback, and market factors they are noticing through several channels. This is one of the ways in which our PMM team influences the roadmap.

Additionally, our product marketing and product management teams work closely together to define key elements of the product strategy (key buyers, use cases, value proposition) as well as the go-to-market strategy and enablement activities. These pre & post roadmap activities help us make sure we have alignment between what we are building and how we are talking about it in the market. Once the PM team generates the level 1 and 2 roadmaps, our PMM partners help us create alternate versions that are tailored for different audiences. For example, we create a version for internal partners like Sales that aligns with our enablement storyline, a version for current and future customers which showcases our strategic investment themes, as well as a version for industry analysts to help them understand our competitive strengths.

551 Views
Brandon Green
Brandon Green
Buffer Staff Product ManagerAugust 16

I consider product marketing managers (PMM) part of the core partner group working with Product in roadmap creation (also including engineers, design, analytics, research, and other key functions based on the role). We aim to loop in product marketing as soon as roadmapping begins, and make sure they're aligned with product on objectives for the given quarter/half - this usually involves PMM sharing insights to help pressure-test the objectives, ensure we have a good understanding of customer sentiment, etc. PMM also takes part in the feature prioritization process, both to help validate the potential impact of those features and for awareness as they build marketing plans.

We also typically include PMMs in kickoffs for individual initiatives and especially the product design process - often, the thing that is marketed becomes clear during this process (eg. what it looks like, how it specifically will solve the given user's problem, how we want to communicate this), and gives PMM a good sense of what their work will look like. In my current role, we're often having discussions at this stage about "whether the thing needs to be marketed at all" - we may be working on a behind-the-scenes change, or a very minimal feature requiring experimentation before we're confident in our approach, and that may have significant implications on the product marketing plan as a result.

294 Views
Marvin Green
Marvin Green
Splunk Director, Product ManagementSeptember 13

At Splunk, we’ve built a tightly executed roadmap update process where we spend about 2 weeks each quarter to refresh our roadmap so our customers, sales and GTM teams have the latest and greatest roadmap info. In that 2-week process, our product managers and product marketing folks actively collaborate on the roadmap updates. What does that collaboration look like? It’s product managers sharing the features and refining the messaging, customer outcomes and use cases with product marketing so we can have a solid roadmap and tell a compelling story to our customers. The marketing team also provides feedback and insights to the product team based on what they are seeing in the market and hearing from customers.

349 Views
Kara Gillis
Kara Gillis
Splunk Sr. Director of Product Management, ObservabilityOctober 31

I think it depends on what you mean by "building the roadmap."

If you meant "how does product marketing help communicate the roadmap to sales and customers?" - this is a huge benefit to close partnership between product management and product marketing. Product marketing should be involved early and often in the launch of a new product or feature, specifically by learning the problem the roadmap item is intending to solve, understanding the market context and competitor alternatives to your product/feature, and articulating the customer benefit from implementing the product/feature. Product marketing should help product managers more clearly visually and verbally communicate the roadmap in customer facing presentations, blogs, and sales enablement.

If you meant "how does product marketing help decide what gets built?" - I think of product marketing as one of the many inputs to consult when prioritizing new features. Often, product marketing is speaking with customers about their use cases to gather their stories for external marketing and sales enablement, so they are learning about customer pain points that product management may not know - or hardships that the sales team is facing when selling or implementing the product for a customer. Other great sources of input are sales reps, sales engineers, customer support/success managers, professional services consultants, etc. Outside of your organization, getting feedback from industry analysts (if you're in enterprise software especially) can also be an interesting source of feedback, based on their following of market trends and volume of conversations they have with end users.

395 Views
Ashwin Arun Poothatta
Ashwin Arun Poothatta
Green Dot Corporation Principal Product ManagerApril 4

Product marketing is an essential partner for PMs throughout the product lifecycle. They can provide valuable insights on the customer and competitive landscape to help define roadmap and priorities. They can offer perspective on product messaging and positioning and identify what is or isn't working in the market.

Working with Sales, Marketing, and leaders in the organization, product marketing can provide feedback on gaps in the product that are turning away prospects, identify unmet customer needs, and drive revenue with upsell opportunities. Additionally, they can help align the organization with the roadmap by defining messaging and positioning.

In short, product marketing can supplement a PMs understanding of the market, help identify gaps, drive revenue and improve product outcomes by working cross-functionally. This partnership can ensure that the product meets customer needs, is well-received in the market, and aligns with the company's goals.

657 Views
Mike Flouton
Mike Flouton
GitLab VP, ProductOctober 25

I've always said a good PM and PMM should be joined at the hip. The PMM should be bringing market insights to the table and act as an excellent sounding board for their PM. That should be throughout the lifecycle.

Far too often what happens is the PM builds something, throws it over the fence at a PMM, and then the PMM is stuck trying to reverse engineer the "why" behind why it was built. That leads to failed products and poor launches. Engage your PMM counterparts early and often.

2107 Views
Ashka Vakil
Ashka Vakil
strongDM Sr. Director, Product ManagementMarch 20

While the product team ultimately owns the roadmap and is responsible for setting the vision and strategy, the marketing team understands the buyer personas and is responsible for messaging and launch. The marketing team has unique insights into customer and market needs. The two functions must collaborate to build a roadmap that addresses market needs and sets the business for success. The key aspects of successful collaboration in building a compelling roadmap are establishing clear goals, ownership, and frequent communication.

Let's review each of the key aspects for the successful creation of a roadmap in a little more detail.

Established Goals and Defined Roles:

Aligning business objectives and goals is the first step. Are we targeting adoption amongst the current customer base or looking to get new logos? Are we looking to enter a new market? What hypothesis do we need to build and validate? Once there are established goals and success criteria, the marketing team provides deep customer and market understanding by bringing customer and market data. The product team takes ownership of the defining core functionalities and technical aspects of the product that help meet the needs

Co-Ownership of the Roadmap:

Marketing provides market research and customer feedback to help prioritize features on the roadmap. During roadmap planning, both functions consider how each feature translates into compelling marketing messages and future campaigns. Once there is clarity, both functions work together to define launch dates, target audiences, and messaging for new features or product releases. Typically launching around a marketing event helps reach customers easily.

Frequent Communication:

Being in lockstep and frequently in touch is the key to success. Holding frequent meetings to ensure everyone's on the same page regarding product strategy and the roadmap is critical. Sharing information openly, and keeping each other updated on product development, customer insights, and marketing plans ensures success and not missing anything critical.

381 Views
Anton Kravchenko
Anton Kravchenko
Carta Sr. Director of Product ManagementApril 11

At Carta, our product teams collaborate closely with product marketing when building the roadmap to offer context into upcoming features and product enhancements. Product marketing leverages this information to develop compelling messaging, positioning, and go-to-market strategies aligned with the product roadmap. Once we get close to an upcoming release, we usually work together more often to shape the value proposition and share it with customers and prospects via webinars, blogs, and updates to our website.

238 Views
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